It's official. The new site has launched. I can now be found at http://jessicascakes.com
Come and visit!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The reality is that changes are coming. ... They must come. You must share in bringing them.
- John Hersey
I have made a lot of changes in these past few months. I moved both my business and my household this spring, added new flavors and products, and my new website is scheduled to go live within a day or so.
Wow, that last one is a big one. Since the last one was launched just under 2 years ago you may ask if something was wrong with the previous design. Absolutely not, and the decision to change wasn't made lightly or quickly.
Geri of Style Laboratory designed my previous site. It was a huge change from my original design and then my later, somewhat untutored, revision. Geri's design was clean, sleek and sophisticated and I liked it very much. When she and I started the process I hadn't really known what I wanted, just knew it needed to be different from what I had. While we worked together, she opened my eyes to a new way of viewing my business, my brand and how the world saw me. As time passed the thinking didn't stop, my business started evolving and it became clear that my site needed to evolve as well.
Jesse and David from Creature Works as well as Katrina from Studio Laguna have played starring roles in this new site. Not always articulate when trying to convey an idea, I credit Jesse with the ability to interpret gestures into vocabulary and David with the ability to make any luddite a computer wiz. Katrina, talented and patient, gets kudos for taking hundreds of photos for us(read Jesse and David) to use to give the site life.
Hours from being a reality, I am sitting with my finger poised over the send button to announce "It's Live"
Monday, August 16, 2010
Kari's fiance was surprised with a recreation of his favorite album.
The Beatles' Abbey Road.
Say hello to George, Paul, Ringo and John.
When I delivered to StoneRidge Golf Club, I was able to witness the reaction first hand. A great success- a gasp at the doorway, a huge hug from the bride and the groom was all smiles.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
To call a color by just one name just doesn't do it justice. Of the four cakes I sent out or delivered today, 2 used purple and green. That is all they had in common. One was modern and elegant, the other downright funky.
One will mark the union of a lovely couple at the NIcollet Island Inn. The other celebrates a big, bright birthday.
Many Happy Returns to everyone.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Becky and Theresa from W Hotel hosted an event for wedding planners yesterday with a whimsical theme of Alice in Wonderland. Geri, part of the planning, had asked me if I were willing to provide a tiptilt cake to add to the gathering, and of course I said yes.
A small enough group for relaxed conversations and room tours, we nibbled and laughed our way through some pretty tartlets, scrumptious macaroons, and absolutely decadent chocolate confections.
Jean and Nicole kept us in stitches. I made the acquaintance of Kelly and Kari of Bliss and was able to chat more with Amanda of Jaclyn Elizabeth Events.
Katrina and I split off toward the end to meet up with Ashley and Carra at Bar Lurcat where we sipped and supped and enjoyed the beautiful summer night. Able to talk about our busy seasons, the great events just past or coming up.
All in all a lovely evening.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
It's been hot, very hot, and even hotter when you work in a kitchen.
Doing some hard labor getting her fondant tinted, Nicolle, with permission, shed her chef's coat and gave us a giggle.
Let's hear it for Nuuude! Cupcakes.
T-shirt courtesy by Woot
Thursday, July 29, 2010
We have all been to at least one event where a boxed lunch or dinner was provided. Some have been very good, some have been adequate, some have been nothing to write home about.
I just want it noted that if Fabulous Catering is providing the boxed meal, I'm attending. Whatever the event.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
After all the griping about traffic and road closures, it really is about only one thing. The wedding, the details that make everything beautiful for the couple.
Fabulous Catering took care of feeding them gorgeous, scrumptious food. Bastian*Skoog bedecked and adorned the backdrop for it all: The James J Hill Library. While waiting for Flutag traffic to abate, I spent some time in the lower hallways enjoying family photographs of the Hill family.
Oh, and I brought the cake.
Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Miller.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Last week at this time I was dealing with a failing computer, no Internet connection and trying to dodge raindrops and hailstones.
Outdoor weddings and Harley's weren't compatible. Enter my bride, Rose.
Rose had called me for a surprise groom's cake. Harley Davidson fans and riders themselves, they were anticipating a large number of their guests to arrive by motorcycle for the reception. The logo was a nod to them all.
The Jack Daniels, well, does it really need to be explained?
Monday, July 5, 2010
Not only is this the name of a movie, or 2 if you count the remake, it's also how Juliette's parents felt the day she was born. Her smile is worthy of any camera, so the invitations included a film reel with Juliette's pretty little face beaming, or grinning or just plain looking cute within each frame.
Happy Birthday Juliette, a star was surely born!
I love to make fruit tarts in the summer, and they are my mom's favorite dessert request.
They just fit into the whole picnic, any meal al fresco thing. With just a bit of glaze the berries and sliced fruit look just like jewels.
I helped Margaret at the Convention Center with these Macadamia crusted tarts today. Katrina's shots for the MN Bride Blog couldn't be any prettier. Talk about jewel tones.
Friday, June 25, 2010
If you can't get to Hawaii, bring Hawaii to you.
That is what last weekend's bride and her fiance decided to do. A destination wedding was what they had originally thought to do, but with 1 recently graduated and the other still in school, bringing the Big Island feel to there Minnesota event was where our planning started.
Two pairs of flip flops, his and hers, and a traditional pig roast helped set the mood for this casual celebration that took place a week after their more intimate and formal ceremony.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Celebrations can sneak up on us. Especially birthdays. It's not that we don't know they are coming. It's that we keep telling ourselves that the birthday's in a month and we'll need a cake along with everything else. It's just that sometimes the actual ordering of said cake doesn't always make it off of our internal check list. Or it did get ordered but something happened. I have had everything from 6 months notice to a frantic plea for something that same day and there are times I am not able to fit the cake into the schedule.
Last week I had a request with not much lead time.
About midday last Tuesday Lisa called me hoping for a cake by end of day Thursday. My thought was: you need it when? She was not aware that I had an event keeping me out of the shop all day Wednesday. Hmm....I gave it a few seconds thought. It was going to be tough for me to make it fit into the production schedule. I hate saying no......
Isabel's cake was ready by 2:30.
Happy Birthay Isabel.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I have fallen behind again. Too busy sending events out the door to talk about them. Time to catch up.
Wednesday morning I attended Edina Realty's Exceptional Properties Vendor Showcase at Nicollet Island Pavillion. A gathering of the companies top agents, we vendors were there to showcase how we could enhance their clients' buying/selling experience. My focus was on open house sweets and thank you gifts.
It has been so gray and glum that I decided to bring my samples as a colorful, edible garden to brighten the day.
To highlight the theme of the day, my cake was Sold!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My niece Casey's graduation celebration wasn't a huge affair but it was a lot of fun. We saw all of the playbills from her extensive theater career throughout high school as well as some footage from her last show choir performance.
Auntie of course did the cake. The design was for her-silver streamers from the invite, red shoes with some shimmer from her last costume/show. The flavors were for her mother, but since she couldn't make up her mind which flavor was her favorite, each tier was a different combination. Casey took a bite for photos since she never has been a cake eater, and then moved on to her choice of sweets: brownies and double chocolate chip cookies.
I think the rest of us managed to eat plenty of cake in her honor.
Hey, do I look short in this photo?
Monday, June 7, 2010
Saturday's wedding was at the Round Barn Farm and B&B in Red Wing. Amalia and Gordon had planned a beautiful day to be spent in and out on the grounds. Mother nature had another plan.
The day was a bit soggy so the celebration moved indoors. It was intimate and romantic. Eric from Floral Logic worked his magic, Fabulous Catering made mouths water with the menu. Shelly Mosman will have captured the day's memorable events.
Her shots of the cake will do it better justice than my attempts to soft focus the cake to bring out the tables in the background.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Just in case you were still in doubt about cupcakes being the right thing, here are some ideas involving cupcakes. Edible gardens, garden paths, summer time on the river, contemporary towers, you name it and cupcakes will fit in just fine.
Style Board images courtesy of Style Laboratory.
I planted my last pot yesterday with lavender. Too bad it's one of the few plants that I can name. I had the best help at Tanglewood Gardens but can't remember any of the new plants she chose for me. The ornamental pepper and coleus are it for these 3 pots. If anyone knows what else I have....
At least I can identify the floral cupcakes I made for a lucky little girl this weekend. A lover of all things ladybug, no pink and green cartoon bug would do for her. It was the real thing or nothing. A selection of daisy and grass green cupcakes added to the celebration.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Just a few boxes shy of being totally unpacked and I needed a break, so I planted the pots on my balcony. This made me think of all the lovely spring and summer weddings in the past and coming up.
Photo credit goes to Shelly Mosman, a friend at the Daughton wedding and the floral credit goes to Just Bloomed, Late Bloomer and The Graces(sadly, no longer in business).
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Moving to a new space gave me the push for a new look for my website. While it is under construction there is not a chance to look at cake images. So, I thought I would post a couple here and there. I'll try to come up with a pithy(love that word) comment or two to go along.
Today's images were inspired, believe it or not, from having to wear a coat for the past few days. I am a shopaholic when it comes to vintage coats so I chose two cakes with a bit of a vintage feel. The flowers are from Martha's Gardens, the photograpgy for one is courtesy of Hilary Bullock the other Amy Metry, neither of whom of shooting anymore. Our loss.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We are just starting to enjoy warmer weather, winter isn't that long in our past and yet today I dropped off a cake with a winter theme for the MN Bride's Fall/Winter issue photos shoot. I won't tell you what my cake looked like, nor who else was there.
I'll leave that until the issue is on the stands. Everyone needs a little mystery, something to anticipate.
I will tell you that we all looked different, taking our own path to interpret the parameters we were given.
These are some past winter cakes that I have done. One a little vintage, one sleek and contemporary. August will reveal my most recent addition to the season.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday night, as part of my long birthday celebration, I listened to CeU's sultry Brazilian voice with 2 aunts, an uncle, a cousin and his girlfriend. The music was amazing-I've been listening to her CD's non-stop ever since. The food was fabulous. Veal chops, salmon, an innovative scallop ceviche. I'm hungry just remembering. I scraped my plate clean.
I did, however, critique the desserts. They didn't match the phenomenal first and second courses. Rude, do you think? My feeling is, if it isn't right, it can't be fixed if the chef doesn't know.
I complimented the things I thought were wonderful and pointed out where I thought there could be improvement. As a Pastry Chef who used to create desserts for all kinds of menus, I know there is nothing more frustrating than an item that won't sell or a plate that comes back uneaten with no explanation.
Good food, excellent company, and an amazing voice. It was a great birthday evening.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
My friend Gary, Pastry Chef at The Oak Ridge Conference Center, came into class last night and did a piping and airbrush demo for my group of cake decorators. Always a funny guy, not only did he pipe a variety of flowers, he did a caricature of one of my students, someone riding a horse the wrong way and, of course, me.
Obviously I am the Chef everyone should fear. I should mention that there was more laughter and helpful comments along the lines of: Chef wears her hat lower.... than trembling.
Unwaxed cake boards don't do his talent justice!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Ilene Facebooked me earlier this week with a last minute cake request. The Cheese Guy's Girl was having a birthday and the original plan had gone awry. Since I had already made their wedding cake, the ideas of working with Ilene again was a no brainer. She was having the party at Create
and asked for my Star Anise Cinnamon Cake filled with Ginger Mousse.
Using some of her Sari fabrics and a gift card as inspiration(all the guests received perfume atomizers as a remembrance of the day), the cake was simple, elegant and a perfect addition to the celebration.